Thursday, 29 July 2010

Banana Frog Hop - Summer Fete - Have fun

If you've landed here from the Banana Frog blog hop.......Welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and if you're just visiting, welcome to you too!!)

This is my quiet little corner of the internet. Where I mainly ramble to myself about my obsession with papercrafting. I am one of the world's worst with the amount I spend on my hobby so to redress the balance I have created this blog with the focus on economical crafting.

So with my niece's birthday looming I decided to make a card with the Hop theme of "Summer Fete" I thought the bright colours would sum up the theme and suit a young girl.

As with the other cards I made for Banana Frog I have kept costs to a minimum, using up scraps and ordinary waterbased brush/felt pens instead of ink. This actually works in my favour as I wanted to just use the pretty scroll detail off one of the stamps in the Take Note set. Not an obvious choice to make a card with but it has some lovely elements and I have loved playing around creating patterns and motifs with them.

To create the stars begin by inking the scroll detail and stamping it in the middle of a piece of card. Repeat this five times point to point, cleaning the stamp and changing colour for each impression.
Then repeat five times more with the stamp reversed and the point facing outwards.
Roughly cut the stars out.

Cut three different colour circles, distress the edges with some of the pen ink and daubers.

Add some details with the lines of the journalling tag

Tie bows at the ends of some strips of ribbon, attach these onto some strips of double sided tape.
Stamp the word "fun" with the small Pharmacy alphabet set, on small scraps of card and cut out irregular shapes
Mount the stars and letters on double sided foam squares (if you haven't got sticky foam squares use spacers cut from corrugated card).
Print the other word on the PC, distress with ink and embellish with stamps.

Thank you so much for hopping by, it's now time to visit Julie at Notes on Paper to see what fab project she has come up with.
If you've got time leave a little comment to say "Hi" or share your favourite economical crafty tip, I'd love to hear from you and you will stand a chance to win something from Banana Frog.
Have a lovely day....I'm now off for a quick hop around too....but then off to work....looking on the bright side it means I get to earn more which means I can treat myself to some more stamps...I have my eye on some of Bev's new Christmas stamps!!!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Apologies for the delay of this post......I have been doing battle with my won!
I said in my second spot I would be adding a couple of scanned images to supplement the projects....unfortunately my scanner didn't want to's working but then getting stuck at the point of opening the View and Use window.....if anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful

Anyway that only left me with a short time to have a play with the fantastic stamps from Banana Frog. I have become obsessed with the Take note set. Originally I thought it was just a useful Scrapbooking journaling set but there are so many pretty element that can be used if you do selective inking

The scroll element from the large journaling panel makes a great scroll leaf.

The whole project was again salvaged stuff.

The card blank was damaged down the that was hidden by daubing ink over top with a very coarse sponge.

The flower is from an artificial bunch. Pull all the plastic parts away from the petals then reattach onto a piece of card ( I stitched it on). Then decorate the middle...I used some hideous green glitter nail varnish......I don't wear it honestly!!!

The greeting was stamped onto a page from a stamp album. I stamped the message on the page and on a scrap which was then cut out to form a mask. The smaller journaling panel was then stamped over top. Tear and distress the message before attaching.

Ribbon stamping

As I mentioned on the banana frog blog I have been stamping on ribbon (to make a cravat for Alexander!!) As the scanner is not working I have photographed my test piece) but it's not very clear.

Sorry for such a patchy post ......must do better next time!! perhaps the scanned will be working by then.....hopefully.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Banana Frog Guest Designer

I have been extremely lucky to be invited to be Guest Designer for the Banana Frog blog this month. The stamps I have been sent are superb...Totally Tropical.....Funky Paisley....and Take note....and I could not seriously pick a favourite, I loved them all, and they are definitely sets I know I will be able to use again and again and again.

The sets are truly brilliant value as you will be able to get so much from them and there are so many elements for the money, but I have stayed true to my blog and kept the costs to an absolute minimum for my projects. The main projects and details will be posted on the Frog blog but I thought I would supplement them with a little post on here, particularly as both the cards didn't have proper envelopes so I had to do some adapting. The little "Thanks! card was packaged in serviettes which I customised with inks from a pen and then tied with thread and finished with a co-ordinating tag (I even ironed the serviettes once they were dry from the splatting technique!! dedicated was that).
The second card used an junk mail envelope, which i decorated with a stamped liner and matching panel on the front (to cover the preprinted address).
It's quite easy to line an envelope. Lightly draw round the envelope... there is no need to cut all the bottom section isn't going to be on show.
Just glue the piece attached to the top flap.
The other thing I had to improvise with was the acrylic block......I hadn't got one on the boat so I used various things lids sides of jars....and in this case the bottom of a glass....I was leaning on the seat of my stool which is very firmly padded and this gave a great impression as the bottom of the glass wasn't totally flat.
I made a third card for a friend using similar techniques to the first card, but I also had to do a little masking. As I didn't have a post it note to stamp a mask on I stamped the image on paper and held it in place with some rubbish (not sticky!!) insulation tape.
I also decorated inside the envelope for this one but this time I lined it with a bit of recycled tissue paper. All my cards were made while we were out for a quick trip on our boat (floating shed) so I really didn't have access to any proper crafting stuff, but I so enjoyed playing with the stamps and just a few old pens.
This post is a bit hurried as we are off again for a week on the boat, if I get a chance I might supplement this a bit further with some more of the pen techniques.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Test Scan

This is just a quick test to see if it's possible to share scanned images!! The picture can be clicked on, then choose from, print, copy or save. I prefer to copy and paste in a word document. I create the smallest margins possible then expand to nearly A4. Of course if a smaller amount is required, the image can be resized accordingly.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Pocket Tag Card

Well I am on a roll, thought I would sort out details for the Pocket Tag card from the previous post. (but spot the deliberate mistake....Forgot to rotate the picture of the completed card, not sure how to remove it either!!). I have included a jpeg of the template which I hope can be copied if necessary.

It really is a simple wallet shape designed to fit in a standard C6 envelope.You will need an A4 piece of card for the main pocket and an A6 piece of card for the tag. But as with all design this can be changed. the front flap could be shortened considerably, the tag size and design can be changed, even a doubled (folded) tag/card could be used inside.

Cut the pocket out (thin card or stiff paper works well)

The side flaps can be glued and fastened at the back....

OR.... put the adhesive on the back of the flaps and hide the flaps inside the pocket

OR...if you want to insert a wider card or larger embellishments, fold the sides flaps to create a "w", which will create a expandable gusset.

The little stand is attached at the back and will fold flat, the bottom of the stand is designed at a slight angle, this again can be adjusted.

I did find it best to copy the template and paste it in "Word" I reduced the margins to 1mm and expanded the picture to fit the A4...maybe there is a better way..will have to put my head round the best way to share this sort of thing....I am so not techie...can you tell!!!!


O.k I hang my head in shame, I am a disgrace to the blogging community as I have been a.w.o.l. I do have very good excuses!! some exciting some a bit traumatic but I do feel ashamed as I know lots of people out there seem to be far more successful at juggling, work, family, craft and blogging at the same time. I so wish I was more organised!!

Anyway apologies!! I know I mostly talk to myself but just in case anyone is out there....sorry!
I have been busy crafting, very exciting as I have now completed two commissions for Simply cards and Papercrafts, very time consuming and slightly anxious putting my stuff in print.

Next month I shall hopefully be the Guest Designer on the Banana Frog Blog. Bev makes some great sets which I think are fab for anyone especially if you are starting out. I recently used The Superlicious Set in conjunction with some recycled stuff. An old manilla file, Paper Primark bags, some emulsion paint and nail varnish. The only other thing needed is a black inkpad

First I lightly painted the bags, allowed these to dry before stamping the flowers and cutting them out.

I created a Pocket Tag card from the folder (I will post details next time if anyone wants further info).

Then decorated the card with strips of the painted paper and the flowers. I added some doodles and embellished the flowers and card with the nail varnish.

I made this for a friend at work, the tins of paint had been hanging around forever in a cupboard, and I volunteered to dispose of them as the colours didn't match anything anyway....but I couldn't help myself I had to use them, so they have now joined my little collection of testerpots, it's so great because I would never have used that colour selection in a million years. That's what I so like about recycling, it often takes you out of your comfort zone and different possibilites open up.

What was also fab was my friend who is not a cardmaker or considers herself arty, took the trouble to make me a card for my birthday and it was absolutely brilliant, she very simply doodled some lines and drew some lovely red Poppies, it was so effective.....Thank you Eug!!!

Thursday, 8 April 2010


This is a matching bag for one of the gifts I decorated in the last post. It's made out of a recycled A4 envelope. I co-ordinated the papers with the gift and used a sketch design from Clare's Challenge at DO CRAFTS. Again I used a sheet printed from a free download at Activity village
I added a PC printed quote, some old buttons and embroidery thread. I stitched the buttons on but this was very fiddly as it was not possible to see exactly where to stitch (my fingers seemed to get pricked more than the paper!!).
The circles were made using the method in the torn circles post. N.B. tearing on inkjet printed paper will cause the ink to bleed...this worked in my favour as I wanted to create a distressed look, and while the edge was wet I used a dauber to add some ink..same colour as mixed in my previous post.

Trim the top flap off an old envelope.
Score round three sides - you can make the sides and bottom as narrow or deep as you require - score approx a ruler width across the top opening. Score on front and back and crease along score lines.

Open the envelope and shape into bag, nip along folds and reverse the original side fold lines so that they face inwards.

This will leave a triangular piece each side, these can be tucked under and glued down...or more fiddly, pushed back inside the bag

The top can be finished two ways.
1. Fold the top flap in, which can then be left as an open bag.... this can then be punched and ribbon threaded through to create handles

2. The top can be folded over and fastened front or back to create a sealed bag.
It's surprising with a bit of creative thinking any damaged and marked bits can be disguised with decoration.

Monday, 5 April 2010

GIFTS - Labels and tags

I wanted to create a tag for my daughter's Easter present (I filled a biscuit tin with lots of her favourite goodies) and as Creative Craft Challenge is anything Easter related I hope to be able to join in with their challenge.
I created a chunky tag from a piece of board from the back of a file paper pad. To decorate it I took inspiration from Scrap the Art's challenge.This week's challenge had a very interesting picture and I used the idea of creating shaded stripes which was useful for adding dimension to the cupcake case. (I also used it to shade the background). The colours were inspired by Clare's weekly challenge at Docrafts. It has a picture of a phone box in snow, I don't know why but it reminded me of icing on a cake, so I dug out some old Christmas decoration angel hair, which I coiled round to create the frosting on the top of the cake (good old PVA was all that was needed to attach this to a cloud shape of scrap white card). The gingham paper was a free download from Activity village, I had some scraps left over from my other project which was some thank you presents for some friends. I make Raspberry Vodka (just sugar and raspberries left to soak in vodka for quite a few months....the vodka is lovely served with lemonade and ice in the summer!!).

I decanted some of the Vodka into little bottles, recycled of course, then decorated them with brown paper and strips of the gingham paper (one A4 sheet did all the wrapping and decorated all the tags), I tore the strips to create a rustic feel. I had bought the green ribbon, but I class this as reusing because when the ribbon arrived it was not the beautiful lime green colour I expected but a very violent fluorescent colour and I never used it in my card making, but, teamed with the rustic papers and some raffia (this was from a beautiful hand tied bouquet that my husband gave me) I actually felt it looked ok.

I used an old plastic wallet as a stencil to create the stripes and shaded areas, which were coloured with ink and lip gloss, I applied both with daubers. To carry on with the make-up theme I created the cherry with red nail varnish painted onto a piece of plastic lid

I didn't have the right colour of green ink to compliment the papers but it was was easily made by blending some of the colours I had.
The board was too thick to put in a paper trimmer so I had to hand cut the tags and round the corners by cutting round a coin, but sanding round the tag got rid of any raw edges, plus distressing with ink round the sides, also disguises any irregularities in the hand cutting.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Katie's smile!

I created this layout for Scrap the Art's challenge, this time they have chosen one of Andy Warhol's iconic silk screen paintings of Marilyn Monroe. I chose to replicate an image of my daughter, it was only a little snapshot taken on a phone but I had wanted to use it in a layout but was never sure quite what to do with it. The challenge gave me the perfect inspiration and it's very apt as my daughter is fascinated by Marilyn Monroe, so it was nice to give her the "Warhol" treatment.
I printed the image on various colours of cardstock but not in a uniform manor as Warhol did for his painting. My reason for this was to use up scraps of card and try and keep to economical crafting, so the colour scheme was very much dictated by what I had hanging around rather than opting for perhaps what I would have chosen. The base page was also not bought especially, it was the paper insert that comes inside the plastic refill page protectors. I finished the design with some sketch style doodles and lettering, using a permanent marker and some brush markers. The layout was extremely quick to create, but then I decided to round the corners of each picture as I did ion the insert in the last post......this did add quite a bit of time to the project!!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Hybrid Card - Denim delight!!

This card was created from one of the kraft style card blanks left over from the card workshop I had last week, it's not completely recycled as I used a stamp, promarkers and nestabilites. But the other mounts were created from a scrap of decorative paper and denim fabric. The flower embellishment was made from tearing scraps and cutting small circles.
To create outer flower cut a circle, fold into quarters, then tear a shallow "m" shape across the top. open out and ink the edges.

TIP: to cut small circles I attach a coin (with tiny piece of blue-tak) to my scrap of card, then cut round, allowing the blade to be guided by the edge of the coin (try and keep blades upright, not angled under). Lightly sand (emery board) any jagged bits to create a smooth round edge.
Then remove coin .
(I keep a bag of old U.K. and foreign coins for this technique as they give a wide selection of sizes)

I used this technique to create the faux button inside and to round the corners of the insert.
This technique gets easier and better results with practice but inking the edges also covers a multitude of sins!!
This card is for my friend Tracey, I liked the irony of giving back the card she had previously given me (it's the card I used in the photo tutorial in the last post!!).

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Kraft card.....lookie likey?!?!

Daft title.....apologies!

The whole purpose of this post is to have a practice at making kraft style card blanks, which are so popular at the moment (and I am a big fan, they suit so many styles but they are also quite expensive), plus I needed to come up with some card blanks to use tomorrow at my cardmaking workshop, especially as I had a non-existent budget.

This finished card is a bit of a cheat... a hybrid card...a mix of recycled stuff and proper cardmaking things. I made this card in honour of Chris (please check out her blog her cards are truly stunning) as the flowers were part of the prize that I received from her blog. I loved the colours of these flowers and I thought they went so well with the colour of the card, and co-ordinated with the old lace and buttons. I also used some nestabilities to cut the mats and a rubber stamp for the greeting and the floral detail inside, but I used pens and daubers for the stamping and distressing.

Right... the cards...messy and bit time consuming but turned out quite well and so far for 80p, plus glue , I have made 15 cards and have some spare paper left over.
I used some brown wrapping paper from the Post office, some cheap PVA and some old pre-used Christmas Cards. Cut a strip of brown paper (wider and longer than the card you are covering) ....using a plastic card (NO, NOT YOUR CREDIT CARD!! BAD IDEA) spread a thin layer of glue on the inside back flap. Line up the straight edge of the paper against the spine of the card and smooth down over the glue (I found it useful to smooth and press with a rag rather than my hand).
Sand the front and back of the card to get rid of any glossy surface (this can be prepped first and may not be necessary if the card is matt)

Repeat the gluing and sticking process on the back and front flap (don't try and do both flaps at once, work on the back then fold the card back up and then do the front)

Fold the paper over the front flap and trim off any excess (for some of the cards I made, I tore the paper for a distressed edge and some I created a decorative edge and left some of the white inner flap, exposed). Apply the glue to the paper and fix down.
Next you have to be patient, they need to be left to dry. I put plastic between each layer (don't forget inside the card as well, then leave a flat weight on the top, they will dry quicker without but will tend to warp.

Once dry, rub your fingernail down the untrimmed sides, then cut off the excess.
So now everything is prepped for tomorrow....who's coming...don't know....what ages are coming...don't know...might end up talking to myself but then I am used to that!!!!!
While I am here I just want to say a very big thank you to the people who have left some really lovely, encouraging and amusing comments...I truly appreciate you taking the time particularly as I know you all have fantastic blogs, which I love looking at.